Amanda Bynes was a bondafide star from a young age with a bright future, but similarly to many other child stars, she unexpectedly had a mental breakdown leading many people to question what triggered it.
Thrust Into The Spotlight
Amanda Bynes was given her own show on Nickelodeon in 1999 which ran for three years. Although being thrust into the limelight is the ultimate goal for some, it had terrible consequences for Bynes. 10 years after she became a fan favorite with a fun-loving personality, Amanda’s world began falling apart leading many to ponder how it spiraled so quickly.
Amanda got her start on Nickelodeon comedy show All That. Other young stars to appear on the show were Jamie Lynn Spears and Nick Cannon, but Bynes was the shining star with her outgoing personality and her natural gift for comedy. Her success led producers to give Amanda her own show, appropriately titled The Amanda Show. The show was a hit and ran for three years before Amanda broke away from TV and changed directions, starring in movies.
TV Star To Movie Star
Bynes’ first movie role was in the 2002 film Big Fat Liar which also starred fellow child star Frankie Muniz. Following this, Amanda was used as a voice over in Charlotte’s Web 2: Wibur’s Great Adventure. Amanda’s later roles included She’s The Man with Channing Tatum but arguably her most successful role came in 2007 in the film adaptation of musical Hairspray. Amanda displayed her singing and acting skills which led the film to win a Grammy award.
Despite the fact that Amanda hadn’t had many big movie roles, her acting abilities did not go unnoticed and the young actress won a number of different awards. Between 2000 until 2011, she won six awards including Kids’ Choice Awards, Hollywood Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, and Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards. Furthermore, Bynes was nominated for Teen Choice Awards, an MTV Movie Award and most significantly a Screen Actors Guild Award for Hairspray. Despite all of this, Bynes wanted more from her career.
Due to Bynes’ young fan base, many companies wanted to partner with the star to advertise their products. Amanda was in demand in the early 2000’s and she chose to create a clothing line in 2007. Bynes was seen as a style icon and her line Dear by Amanda Bynes launched for Steve & Barry’s. The clothing line was relatively successful at the time but was later discontinued. Just because the line was gone, doesn’t mean that Amanda’s passion for fashion had diminished.
While Amanda career has been widely reported on, the same can’t be said for her love life. Throughout her life she has kept intently quiet regarding who she is dating but in 2008 some information was leaked to the press. It was reported that Amanda was dating comedian and actor Seth Macfarlane. The two comedic actors were said to have first met on the set of Family Guy when Bynes was asked to voice a guest character. Their relationship didn’t last very long.
Amanda was brought up in a traditional way with a focus on religious values. When she had her troubles in later years it was clearly with a lack of regard to her upbringing. She said, “As far as religion, I was raised both. I learned about both Judaism and Catholicism. My parents said it was up to me to decide when I grew up. I’m sort of a spiritual person anyway. I haven’t decided yet on a religion. I don’t know yet exactly what I believe.”
Lohan vs Bynes
Bynes was often compared to fellow child star Lindsay Lohan. The two started their careers around the same time and were both attempting to make the difficult transition from child star to serious adult actress. Lohan successfully advanced into respected roles while Bynes was left behind. This led her to admit “I feel like people don’t know yet what I can really do.” Amanda wasn’t getting the attention she wanted and this led her start seeking attention in alternate ways.
In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, Amanda had put out a good-girl image, but in 2008, she was giving away signals which suggested she wanted to step out of that image. Despite being successful through a certain genre with young fans, it wasn’t enough for Bynes and she wanted to finally be seen as an adult. She posted on social media “I’d love to do something that would shock people, something that’s against type.” Shock is something she did successfully…
Signs On Social Media
The cracks in the young star began appearing in 2010 when Bynes took to her social media account, giving fans an insight into her bizarre feelings and moods. Her controversial tweets included references to Germany in WWII, outrageous statements directed at rapper Drake and her uncensored opinions of President Obama. Accompanying Amanda’s tweets was a photo of her new look including wigs and facial piercings. Her constant tweets bashing people’s appearance led the public to question if she was having an identity crisis.
In June 2010, Amanda took to her Twitter to announce her retirement from acting. She said,”I know 24 is a young age to retire but you heard it here first I’ve #retired. I don’t love acting anymore so I’ve stopped doing it … If I don’t love something anymore I stop doing it …Being an actress isn’t as fun as it may seem.” Her announcement came just a couple of months before her latest movie Easy A was about to be released.
What was also overtly clear from Bynes’ revealing tweets was her recent obsession with weight. Amanda was often quoted commenting on her weight and constantly reinforcing the fact she was trying to lose as many pounds as possible. Amanda’s comments were displaying clear signs of body dysmorphia which led one of her friends to state in an interview that the Nickelodeon star had spoken of her desire to get down to “100 pounds”. Moreover, Amanda was said to have strange eating habits to add to the problems.
Head On Her Shoulders
The downfall of child stars is a common occurrence, but many close to Amanda never thought that it would happen to her. Nickelodeon and film producer Dan Schneider spoke highly of the young star and stated, “I’ve seen kids in her position experiment with drugs and be too promiscuous, but Amanda has avoided all that. My wife, who knows her, says she’s almost like Marcia Brady in that she’s so clean-cut and wholesome.”
Bynes was being rejected from numerous serious roles and the rejection was becoming too much for the star so she began partaking in illegal activities, not just to get herself noticed, but also as a cry for help. In particular, Amanda was pulled over and given a DUI but her run in with the police did not deter her from continuing to act out. Bynes was constantly using her Twitter to put out all different statements that made many question her mental health.
Although Bynes was tweeting constantly, one day she went radio silent and no one heard anything from her. Amanda broke this silence by posting a picture of her new purple hair along with a tweet that read “Live fast die young/Bad girls do it well”, in reference to an M.I.A song. On the back of this, Bynes got behind the wheel once again and was pulled over by the police for speaking on her cell phone. Bynes drove away from the scene, ignoring LAPD instructions.
Learning From Lohan
Bynes and Lohan have been compared to one another their whole lives and this was even seen in their manic behavior. Lindsay Lohan had her infamous meltdown previously with multiple ru-ins with the law and landing her behind bars. It seemed that Amanda had noticed the masses of media attention Lindsay received and almost exactly tried to mimic her behavior. Due to Bynes’ clean background, some assumed it was a minor hiccup and it was not given much attention. It seemed that frustrated the actress, and she wanted more.
While many were comparing Bynes’ behavior to that of Lindsay Lohan’s, the latter was furious at the treatment of the Nickelodeon star. Lindsay tweeted. “Why did I get put in jail and a Nickelodeon star has had NO punishment(s) so far?” She followed her first statements by saying, “These are the moments that I appreciate my life experiences, living without regrets and Disney for supporting me as an actress.” The rivalry between the two stars seemed greater than ever.
Amanda’s behavior seemed to get worse, not better not matter how many people tried to help her. Her antics appeared to go from attention seeking to completely psychologically disturbed and it was evident she needed medical help. Her Twitter rants had diminished and she replaced them with acting out in public. She was reported to have locked herself in a cupcake shop bathroom in New York City and then threw substance paraphernalia out of a window.
Amanda’s public disturbances became increasingly common around September, 2012. In West Hollywood she went shopping in a clothing store and proceeded to lock herself in the dressing room for two hours, despite shop assistants trying to lure her out. Furthermore, she signed up for a spinning class in L.A. and decided to strip down to her underwear in the class, acting erratically. People in the class reported that the actress was walking around aimlessly, looking at the spin bikes.
Bynes launched a tirade against a number of media outlets, declaring a legal battle against the publications which covered her breakdown.”I’m suing In Touch, Us Weekly, Perez Hilton for hiring paparazzi who follow me then take the worst photos with the worst angles,” Bynes continued by inserting “there is NO story, just an awful photo posted with instead of a caption they say I have erratic behavior when I do NOTHING wrong.” Despite pleading her innocence to the situation, it was clear something was going on.
Defending Her Appearance
In 2013, Amanda wrote an article published in Vanity Fair. She defended her outfit choices saying, “Chose a blue hairpiece for my court appearance. Wearing wigs to court is a reference to both the traditional dress of English barristers and the Whig Party. I would not identify as a Whig per se, although I think the inclination to impose limits on executive power was a prescient one. (I suspect Snowden and Greenwald would agree!) Of course, apathy toward the issue of slavery is unforgivable and inexcusable.”
Bynes Hits Back
In an exclusive interview with In Touch magazine, Amanda said “I have no clue [why people say I’m insane]. Every time I’ve heard it, it came from an ugly person’s mouth, so I don’t care.” In the interview, Amanda also told reporters that she had plenty of work opportunities coming up and she needed to get in shape for that so was working on herself. She also insisted that she was allergic to alcohol which meant most of the stories printed about her were fake.
In March 2013, Bynes’ neighbor, actress Jenny McCarthy tweeted “Police are at @AmandaBynes house. I hope they get her help. Enough of this circus. She needs help.” Jenny was simply reinforcing the comments made by others close to her including her former publicist Jonathan Jaxson. However, when the police confirmed they were not at Bynes’ house, the troubled star hit back at McCarthy, calling her an “old lady”, “ugly” and “80 years old compared to me”. The two later exchanged apologies.
Enough was enough, and Amanda was finally placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold when courts could see that she needed help. Moreover, her parents stepped in and placed a conservatorship over their daughter. Following this, Bynes was taken to a rehab facility where she stayed for six months in order to curb her irrational behavior. Throughout this whole time, her parents were her conservators but it emerged that Amanda was not happy about it and began to pen reprehensible statements.
Childhood Abuse Accusations
Bynes appeared to be harboring resentment towards her parents for taking control of her life. She took to Twitter to shockingly claim child abuse. She said “My dad was verbally and physically abuse [sic] to me as a child”. She continued “He called me ugly as a child and then asked me if I wanted to have *** with him and I did not know how to respond and I said no and then I was forced to live with my dad which was a total nightmare.”
Amanda took things a step further and said that her father would display inappropriate behavior in front of his daughter. She also claimed that on many occasions she would try to film his acts so that he would get caught and jailed. She said of her mother, “My mom knows that my father’s literally and physically incestual [sic] towards his own daughter and the fact that she never called the police on him embarrasses me to no end. So, today I am meeting with a lawyer to get a restraining order against my dad.”
Amanda’s comments were absolutely disgraceful and left her parents reeling from the despicable accusations. Amanda’s mother was forced to release a statement which said “I am heartbroken today for my husband of 47 years,” she continued “Rick has never abused Amanda or our other children physically…These accusations are absolutely horrible and could not be further from the truth! These allegations stem from Amanda’s mental state at the moment.” Lynn Bynes was appalled that her innocent husband would be slandered by his own daughter.
Retracting Her Comments
That same day her mom made a statement denouncing her daughters comments, Amanda retracted her comments. Bynes made a bizarre statement which said “My dad never did any of those things. The microchip in my brain made me say those things but he’s the one that ordered them to microchip me.” People were shocked at Amanda’s mental state and knew that she needed more help. Her previous stint in rehab clearly hadn’t balanced her but there was finally an answer to everything.
A month after the child abuse allegations, Amanda took to her Twitter once again to admit something that many had already suspected. Bynes was diagnosed as bipolar and a manic depressive. Amanda confirmed that she was taking medication but was sure to tell fans “My lawyer said if I comply with the courts and take my meds and see my psychologist and pyshchiatrist weekly then I will get unconserved. Thank GOD.” Sadly, her troubles did not end there.
Back To Rehab
In October 2014, Amanda went back to rehab, but it was reported she was having trouble adjusting to treatment again. Amanda was treated at the facility for her schizophrenia and psychiatric issues and with the support and help of her parents, they hoped this would finally put her troubles behind her and get Bynes back on her feet. Prior to entering rehab, Bynes was contacted by Sam Lufti who was a catalyst in Britney Spears’ meltdown but many warned her to stay away.
Amanda’s rehab stint really helped the actress to get back on her feet after several extremely difficult years. Bynes was finally sober and cut out all illegal substances and alcohol from her life. When she mixed addictive substances with her bipolar medication, it produced a dangerous outcome so the fact she was now sober was a huge relief. The only thing Bynes was unable to cut out was cigarettes, but there is no way they can affect her mental health.
Getting back on a positive path led Amanda to enroll in the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandizing (FIDM) and she has been attending classes since 2015. Her passion for fashion has always been there and it is a hopeful that the actress is putting her energy into something she loves. Moreover, she moved back in to her parents’ house and is under their watchful eye. This way, Amanda is able to stay on a positive path and not relapse into a negative mental state.
While at FIDM, many people began recognizing Amanda in their classes, leading other students to comment that the actress was unfriendly and isolated. A source close to Bynes stated, “To the extent that Amanda’s isolated [at school], it’s a product of being a former child star…I have no doubt that she’s isolated from other students. I don’t think for a single second that she’s hanging out in the quad with all those other bubblegum girls. But she loves going to FIDM, she loves it. She’s making amazing progress.”
Despite all of the comments Amanda made about her father when she was in a bad mental state, they have managed to put things in the past and become close again. Her parents look after her and ensure she is taking the correct medication and channeling her energy into positive things. Amanda’s manager stated “Her parents are thrilled with Amanda’s progress and how well she’s been doing. They have a great relationship and have a lot of faith in Amanda.”
Maintaining Her Finances
Although Amanda has not worked in several years, her past roles have paid the actress enough for her to live on. She is said to have a net worth around $6 million which is comprised by her house in Calabasas, her cars, past endorsements and royalties from her movies. Bynes previously announced that she has retired from acting altogether but in 2017, she retracted her comments and admitted she could see herself going back into entertainment but specified only TV, not movies.
Amanda took a long hiatus from Twitter when she was in rehab and recovering from her turbulent years. However, when the actress began posting again, fans were worried she was going back to her own ways but there were no signs of a relapse. Amanda uses the platform now to post visually attractive pictures, one of a bouquet of flowers with the caption “Stopping to smell the flowers on a gorgeous Sunday.” Amanda looked to be in a positive place.
Back In The Public Eye
Recently, Amanda has slowly began returning to the public eye, but in a completely different mindset to what people were familiar with. She gave an interview to Hollyscoop and said “I’ve been going to school lately, fashion school, and I love it. I’ve learned how to sew, I make patterns and I want to start a clothing line in the future. Other than that, I hike, I take spinning classes and I feed the homeless and that’s been really interesting and fun.”
Returning To Acting
Amanda also gave an exclusive in the interview and announced that she planned to return to acting. She revealed, “I do miss acting and I actually have something surprising to tell you. I’m going to start acting again. I want to do TV, maybe a few guest spots on shows that I’m a fan of and maybe another TV show where I’m the star of it in the future.” Bynes’ fans were thrilled at the news.
Amanda has shown her great progress and from this, she started to regain control of her life. She requested that judges give her back her money and after assessing the situation, they agreed after seeing her positive progression. Her parents were on board with her decision and her mother Lynn’s attorney stated “Because Amanda was doing much better, in October 2016, after providing a detailed accounting of the estate and accounting for every expenditure and receipt, Lynn petitioned the court to terminate the conservatorship of the estate.”